Writer & Director
Marina Shron is a Russian born New York based screenwriter/playwright/director. Her short films including Sea Child and Lullaby for Ray have been featured at film festivals around the world and have won awards including Best Short Film in Hamptons and Toronto. Buddha’s Little Finger, a feature she co-wrote with Tony Pemberton, will be released later this year. Her plays including King of Rats, Time and the Beast, Eden, have been produced in New York, Berlin and Moscow. She has received awards and funding for her work from Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Jerome Foundation, and Fulbright Foundation. Marina teaches screenwriting at The New School University in New York. Currently, she is working on several projects as a writer-director, including a narrative feature film, The Fruit of Our Womb .
I empathize with other people – to a fault. One might say I have weak personal boundaries – I can easily imagine myself being anyone else… Even when I argue with my boyfriend – I tend to pace myself in his shoes. I wouldn’t call this a helpful skill, exactly – it’s terrible for business and life – but it is good for my writing.
I would say it’s my creative drive. Through creativity I explore different aspects of who I am as an individual – and I also imagine what I could become. I discover the best and the worst versions of myself… I don’t think you can exorcise your demons through writing or making a film – but by giving then names and faces, you recognize – and humanize them, in a way… I think the role of imagination as an ethical force is hugely underestimated. After all, we can only be as good as we’re capable of imagining.
My personal aspirations – well, to do more for people who are part of my life – family, friends… To make some difference in their lives. It’s a gift, in a way – and like any gift it needs to be nurtured and practiced. I hope I’m not entirely talentless in this area… like most people, I simply don’t have enough time.
When it comes to my work – I usually give myself one big goal at a time. Right now, my aspiration is to make my new feature film, The Fruit of Our Womb. It’s a story about our most beautiful aspirations as humans and the need to preserve them, keep them alive … After all, they’re made of such delicate matter.”
That’s a tough one. For me, my greatest accomplishment is always in the future. That’s the only way I can stay motivated… There’re things I’m proud of in my life and career… but if I thought for a moment that I’ve achieved something great already, I would’ve spent the rest of my life — well, just living., I guess.. A scary thought… is it not?
Leaving Russia was one of such challenging decisions I made.
I lived in St. Petersburg, one of the most beautiful cities in the world… I’ve written my first play, in Russian, that got noticed — had its first production in Moscow. And then I came to San Francisco for what was supposed to be a short visit – and never went back.
I saw my play performed in English… and all of a sudden, I discovered a whole new world… a whole new me – in another language. So I decided to stay in the US and continue to write my plays – then screenplays – in English. Next year, I moved to New York to study at NYU.
Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I went back to Russia that summer… Would I be a different person? Would I be telling different stories? I can’t even imagine what my life would be like… It’s one of these decisions that made me what I am.
“Sail away from the safe harbor”.
Looking back – this was always the motto I lived by…
Luis Bunuel, Maya Deren…Emily Dickinson… and Frida Kahlo.
Amsterdam…Actually, I’ve always been attracted to cities built on water or surrounded by water. St..Petersburg, Amsterdam, New Amsterdam – New York…
One of my favorite destinations is Barcelona, even though I’ve only been there once. It’s a very different place… a different concept of a place. It’s almost like a natural phenomenon, not a city built by men… It’ the opposite of New York – everything here is manufactured, including Central Park. Not that I don’t love the city… it’s a place I’ve always come back to without quite knowing why. Maybe because it keeps challenging me…
I’m the opposite of a hoarder – I never keep things for too long – either lose them or throw them away. But sometimes, old things pop up unexpectedly… Like I always find some key in my desk’s drawer that I can’t recognize… So I have to keep guessing — what is this key to, what does it open?
I’d say these mysterious keys are my favorite objects.
Passions… I like that it’s plural. I tend to develop tunnel vision and focus on one thing or project entirely – forget or ignore everything else. That’s passion. I’d say at the moment, my work is my passion. But “passions” is about noticing things that fall by the wayside… That’s why I like driving. It’s never boring. I look out the window, I listen to a radio… or a podcast… When I drive, I see and hear everything more acutely… I find THAT exciting.
Check out my latest film here: https://www.